Higher Apprenticeships in Scotland



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Higher apprenticeships are incredible. Literally incredible. They are an opportunity for you to gain great qualifications, get three to four years of work experience, and earn a salary – all at the same time. Read on for a guide to higher apprenticeships in Scotland… how they work, where to find vacancies, and how a higher apprenticeship can fast-track you to your dream career.

What is a higher apprenticeship?

Higher apprenticeships are schemes designed for 18 year old school and college leavers. You might also hear higher apprenticeships referred to as level 4 or level 5 apprenticeships. Scottish Higher apprenticeships provide young people with a fast-track into a career or higher education. Apprenticeships were traditionally associated with trade industries like construction or plumbing. Modern apprenticeships are available in a much wider-range of industries, including law, finance, engineering and IT! Theses schemes are a combination of on-the-job training and academic study. Apprentices work for a company or in an industry on a full-time basis, and study towards nationally recognised qualifications on the side. Higher apprentices are highly employable, because they have the qualifications, work experience and the practical skills required for the professional workplace. Apprentices earn a wage for the duration of an apprenticeship programme, for work and study periods.
Make sure you also check out our detailed overview of higher level apprenticeships, A Guide to Higher Apprenticeships.

How do higher apprenticeships work?

Higher apprentices spend the majority of their time in the workplace. They work alongside experienced professionals from a field, who will mentor them, and provide support during the apprenticeship. Apprentices are trained for a specific occupation, or to perform a specific role within an organisation. At the end of a higher apprenticeship, an apprentice is work-ready. When an apprentice is not at work, they will be working towards qualifications. At the end of a higher apprenticeship, you will be awarded with a Level 4 Competence Qualification, and a knowledge based certificate, (Higher National Diploma, foundation degree, or undergraduate degree). The academic part of a higher apprenticeship will take place in a college or internal/external training centre. If you are working for a small company, they are likely to send you to an external centre, if they don’t have the facilities on site. The structure of work based learning and study periods will depend on the company that is organising the apprenticeship. In some schemes, you will spend four days in a week in the workplace, and one day studying at college. For other apprenticeships, you might be working with your employer for weeks or months at a time, and then be released for extended study periods.

Higher Apprenticeships Entry Requirements

Higher apprenticeships in Scotland have been designed to fill the skills gap across a wide-range of industries. There are around 80 different apprenticeship frameworks in Scotland, all of which are pathways to a fantastic career. The entry requirements for higher apprenticeships can vary. They will depend on the employer that organises the scheme. Employers generally look for school or college leaver’s with:
  • two or more advanced highers
  • or an advanced apprenticeship 
If you have been educated in Scotland, you can still apply for apprenticeships across the UK. The entry requirements in job vacancies often state ‘two or more A levels OR equivalents‘. Advanced highers will qualify you for a higher apprenticeship outside of Scotland. Click on the button below to be transported to our jobs page.

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Here is a short video about how modern apprenticeships are changing in Scotland…


Reviews of Scottish Higher apprenticeships

RateMyApprenticeship has over 7000 reviews of apprenticeships and school leaver schemes. The reviews are written by school and college leavers who have finished, or are still completing an apprenticeship. Each review delves into the content and structure of an apprenticeship, the salary, and the support provided by the employer. A reviewer will also discuss the social opportunities which were available to them outside of work. If you are thinking about applying for a higher apprenticeship anywhere in Scotland, the reviews are a must-read! Click here to jump over to our reviews page. Do it.
Are you ready to start a career? Choose an apprenticeship. Visit our jobs page by clicking on the link below, and start your search for a higher apprenticeship in Scotland today. View jobs → For more news, reviews and job opportunities in Scotland sent straight to your inbox, sign up with RateMyApprenticeship. It’s free! Register here →
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